Repairing damaged genetic material
Emma came to Oslo in January 2019 to lead a group for Precision Medicine at NCMM (Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway). The group is interested in diseases such as immunodeficiency, rare blood cancers and other troublesome autoimmune diseases which are mainly caused by congenital defects in the DNA. The Haapaniemi group’s research involves locating the defect in the DNA and repairing it using “programmable gene scissors”.
Studying medicine at a young age
Emma talks about how she first got interested in medicine at a young age and pursued her career:
What's it like working at the Oslo Science Park?
At NCMM, Emma leads an international research group consisting of four staff: herself, Anna from Ukraine, Ingrid from Finland, and Zhuokun from China. In the future, the goal is to recruit more staff and grow the team with postdocs and a lab manager. The group also welcomes students.
Additionally, Emma wishes for more Norwegian doctors and researchers to join NCMM for further clinical insights into projects and to better understand how the Norwegian system works.
Emma has perfected her Swedish during her period working at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and together with her English skills she is doing excellently after just 3 months in Norway.
Her working day starts around 9am and she goes home between 7-8pm almost every evening. Her husband is studying Economics in London, so meeting together in London sometimes brings a welcome change in her busy life.
Making the CRISPR technology available and affordable
Emma talks further about the technology she works with and its current challenges with availability and affordability.